House of the week: Smart nod to the future

WHEN the client approached Jon Webber, of Webber Architects, with the brief to renovate their “caravan of a home” on Bershire Avenue, the brick home sat quaintly at just 85 square metres.
Nanjing Night Net

With 550 square metres of land on the site, it’s safe to say there was room to grow.

The original home, built in the 1960s and finished in a cement render on brick with a tiled roof, had become too small for the Merewether Heights family.

Following the renovation, the now three-bedroom, two-bathroom home retains the original soul of the home but has been brought into modernity with internal moderations.

The home now also boasts a curvaceous semi-detached pavilion off the rear of the structure, inspired by the movement of the ocean.

“The client has strong connection with the ocean, so the concept of a wave is reflected in the dramatic curve of the roof line,” Webber tells Weekender.

The addition of the pavilion area was chosen to have minimal impact on the existing fabric of the home.

The client felt it was important to maintain the facade of the existing dwelling, nestled neatly on a street lined with distinctive 1960s-era homes.

As a result, Webber designed the renovated level to appear only slightly elevated from street view, just 1.8 metres higher than the ridgeline of the home.

This intentional design feature was done to demonstrate that demolition isn’t necessary to modernise a home.

But it was given an aesthetic contrast with the use of flexible material selection in the external construction of the area.

Lightweight fibre-cement cladding with timber battens was used, while sheet metal roofing creates the dramatic oceanic curve atop the structure.

The client is an environmental consultant so sustainability was an essential consideration in the design and construction.

The new windows were placed in the extension to be well-protected from the elements yet effectively positioned for cross-ventilation.

The curve of the pavilion assists with heat purging, with the heat moving through the area and escaping through high-level glazing.

A “posi-strut” with the raked ceiling was also employed to promote air movement within the ceiling cavity.

Vents in the eaves allow the air to escape and provide the opportunity for cabling for future fans if required.

This pavilion area created new master bedroom, kitchen and living areas that lead on to a new deck, with views over the garden.

Large format, thin profile matte porcelain tiling was used throughout the new area, keeping it feeling light and open.

A dramatic black kitchen consisting of glossy polyurethane cabinetry was built by Grasco and sits proudly on the upper level of the extension.

An island bench of Caesarstone benchtops sits prominently in the space which also includes a dining area that looks out on to a deck with elevated views beyond.

The upper level is a mezzanine with a view linking kitchen and dining to the living area, accessible by an open timber staircase.

The living area allows access to the grassy yard through unobtrusive sliding glass doors, meaning there is an abundance of natural light filling the space.

The tall ceiling of the living area curves to the shape of the pavilion, creating an area that balances cohesiveness with spaciousness.

This a careful balance that is retailed throughout the formerly cosy ’60s home, with the addition of the open and expansive area that doesn’t compromise the soul of the ’60s structure.